PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) ─ For the third night, bikers and advocates gathered at the site of last weekend’s officer-involved moped crash that critically injured a 24-year-old man.
Jhamal Gonsalves was rushed to the hospital Sunday night immediately following the crash, which occurred near the Providence/Cranston line on Elmwood Avenue. Gonsalves, according to his family, is currently in a coma.
Officers from Cranston and Providence monitored the gathering from a few blocks away. For several hours, bikers were seen doing burn outs, revving their engines and, at times, appeared to be racing one another.
By midnight, dozens of officers had converged on the area, even though the crowd had mostly dispersed. Plow trucks from Cranston Public Works were seen blocking the roadway for a short period of time.
The investigation into the crash is ongoing. Prior to the crash, it appears a Providence Police cruiser, which the department said was being driven by officer Kyle Endres, was following Gonsalves down Elmwood Avenue.
Cell phone video from a witness shows Gonsalves take an abrupt right turn onto Bissell Street before losing control of his moped and slamming into a building.
It’s still unclear at this time whether Endres actually hit Gonsalves with his cruiser.
Providence Public Safety Commission Steven Paré released two new videos leading up to the crash Wednesday, neither of which show whether Gonsalves was hit by Endres’ cruiser.
The incident has sparked outrage throughout the city. Cell phone video of the crash continues to make its rounds on social media, and two initially peaceful protests that occurred earlier this week quickly devolved into chaos once the sun went down.
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Gonsalves’ family met with Attorney General Peter Neronha Thursday afternoon for an update on the investigation into the crash.
Attorney Jude Kerrison, who’s representing the Gonsalves family, said right now, they’re focused on Jhamal’s condition, adding that they condemn the ongoing violence and do not want it associated with his name.
“They don’t condone the violence and destruction,” Kerrison said. “If you do not see a family member of Jhamal’s at any of these demonstrations, then it is not endorsed by the family.”